The Lenovo ThinkSmart Hub 500 could make connecting offices for important conference calls and managing presentations much easier for businesses in 2018.
The ThinkSmart Hub 500 is an all-new all-in-one solution for audio conferencing and managing meetings. Lenovo announced the new device at Microsoft Ignite, a conference that focuses on how the software that Microsoft makes and the hardware that its partners produce allow large companies to work more efficiently. It works with Office 365’s Skype for Business and Skype Room Systems, two services designed to make collaboration easier. ThinkSmart Hubs’ Windows 10 IoT Enterprise operating system a secure offshoot of the Windows 10. Like the ThinkSmart Hub 500 itself, Windows 10 IoT lets workers focus on the task at hand instead of managing yet another PC. Lenovo didn’t reveal the device’s price at the event.
The ThinkSmart Hub 500 is the only conference room system that companies need to collaborate wherever workers are. The device has an 11.6-inch touchscreen display that swivels in the direction of the meeting’s leader. This display rests on a stand that doubles as a 360-degree speaker, a 360-degree microphone and a call connectivity indicator. The device looks the same as the ThinkPad laptops, desktops and tablets that large businesses already issue to employees, so it blends into any office’s existing decor.
With the ThinkSmart Hub 500 at the center of any conference room, businesses could get back hours in productivity that their employees waste each week setting up for conference calls, video conferencing and collaboration sessions.
The ThinkSmart Hub 500 isn’t the first smart device from Lenovo. The company revealed the SmartAssistant speaker for Amazon’s Alexa personal assistant in January 2017. Also, the Lenovo Home Assistant Pack turns the company’s Android tablets into a solid Amazon Echo Show alternative.
Huawei MateBook - $499
The Huawei MateBook has an attractive price and two configurations for shoppers to pick from.
This machine offers 4GB of RAM and an Intel Core m3 processor for just $399. More expensive configurations add an Intel Core m5 processor, up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB of solid-state storage.
Buyers that like clean design will love the Huawei Matebook. Its sleek metal frame has just a USB Type-C port, a headset jack and a connection for its add-on keyboard. It doesn’t have a kickstand on the back. Instead, users snap the cover accessory onto the bottom to hold the screen up. The 12-inch 2160 x 11440 display dominates the front, and machined aluminum covers the back.
You will need to factor in the cost of the digital pen and the keyboard with your purchase. The MatePen is just $49.99 from the Microsoft Store. The keyboard, which has a kickstand for propping the device up and backlit keys, costs $99. For comparison, a Surface Type Cover costs $129.99, and the Surface Pro 4’s pen sells for $59.99.